Mo Ramiro, 39, came to America 19 years ago from Mexico knowing only a handful of English words. Now fluent, he works two jobs to feed his family of four and pays tuition for his wife Cittalli to take dental hygienist courses at Truckee Mountain Community College.
Most mornings and afternoons Mo is flipping pizza at the Papa Murphy’s on Pyramid Way and McCarran Boulevard. Once he finishes his 6:30 am to 3:30 p.m. shift, he changes his shirt and flips drinks at Bully’s Sports Bar and Grill no more than 100 feet from the Papa Murphy’s from 5:30 p.m. to midnight.
“It’s a lot,” Ramiro said. “But these days, if you want something, you have to go out and get it. Nobody’s going to give it to you. You have to struggle to get something.
“God is not going to give me anything. You need to climb. If you start a job, you have to start from the bottom. It’s up to you to climb to the top.”
Ramiro worked as a cook for eight years and was offered a cooking job at Bully’s but was fed up with the grill. So he started busing tables and paying attention to the bartenders.
Ramiro was offered a bartending job after two years and has stood behind the Bully’s bar now for eight years, becoming one of the bar’s most beloved employees.
“He makes everybody feel welcome,” Ron Ward, who has gone to Bully’s for five years, said. “Your beer is never empty, ever. You never wait for anything. He takes care of you.”
Ward knows his bartenders. He was born in Las Vegas and moved to Reno where he runs the Chili’s on McCarran Boulevard and Virginia Street.
“I have been to a million and-a-half bars and he’s one of my favorites,” Ward said.
Ramiro said charisma is the most important tool a bartender can possess: He’s got it. On the nights he is working, Ramiro can be seen flying around behind the bar seemingly chatting up each individual who takes a stool.
He admits while working at a sports bar his knowledge of the sports world is lacking, but tries to keep an eye on the headlines on one of the dozens of TV’s in the bar.
“He’s not a real sports guy in a sports bar,” Ward said with chuckle. “We talk about some teams and he gets them mixed up. It could be a football to a baseball or a baseball to a football, ‘Oh yeah the Boston Red Sox kicked a field goal.’
“His guests or customers, whatever they call them here, they just love him.”
As a man who came to Nevada as a 19-year-old without an education or knowledge of the language, Ramiro said he eventually wants to become a landlord, building and renting out his own apartment building.
In the rare moments he isn’t working, Ramiro said he is happiest spending time with his family. He has a five-year-old son, Yolotzin, and a two-year-old daughter, Zeltiz.
“They are my everything,” Ramiro said.
When Ramiro migrated to Nevada as a late teen, he took English as a Second Language (ESL) classes before dropping out of Bridge classes (pre-GED) to start paying the bills. He said his children will not have that option.
“If I help my wife finish school, I kill two birds with one stone,” Ramiro said. “That way, my kids are obligated to go to school, to finish school.
“They might ask eventually, ‘why didn’t you go papa?’ my answer will be ‘because I was helping mama to go and to help you two to go to college.”
He started with nothing, now nearly works around the clock and still puts his family first. Mo is the man.
Favorite movie: The Crow
Favorite band: Pearl Jam
Favorite Sparks destination: Drive-in movie theater